Linux but its on the Nintendo Switch

Linux but its on the Nintendo Switch

By: Alex Lopez

So Nintendo Switch hackers have managed to make the Switch run Linux.

First, some background. Linux is an operating system (Such as Windows and Mac OS), but it is Open-Source and written in a language called Unix. The Nintendo Switch isn’t meant to run Linux. In fact, I don’t think it can even run a search engine. Hackers still managed to do this anyways. Their tweet regarding this is below.

They are also confident that Nintendo won’t be able to release a software patch to prevent people from hacking their Switch. This is because the exploit isn’t through software, but rather done physically. Basically, you short out two pins on the right Joy-Con side and this sends the Switch into a “USB recovery mode” which can be easily exploited to, say, import Linux to the Switch. Since this is a problem with the physical system itself (Shorting out a physical pin), it should be fairly impossible to fix via updates. Granted, they could fix it with new Switches being released, but the existing ones could be broken into anyways. A picture of something to assist in shorting out the pin will be below.

This connects to engineering in that it shows people approaching things in different ways. In the past, most systems would only need a software exploit to be able to hack into the system. in this case, however, they had to think about it like an entire circuit. (By shorting out the right Joy-Cons). A link to the article is below

https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gear/a18371917/nintendo-switch-linux-hack/

So, I’m hoping that this could be used to make custom Super Mario Odyssey levels, but I’m not sure.